'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Home Alone with Buzz McCallister


Unless you live under an actual rock, you have seen 1990s, Home Alone more times than you can count. It is truly a classic which certainly can't go unwatched each holiday season. I got the chance to catch up with Devin Ratray, the lovable, yet jerky older brother of Kevin McCallister. I got the scoop on Devin's Home Alone experience and learned about his upcoming projects.


The buzz on Buzz:

How did you land the role of Buzz McCallister?

I auditioned for HA just like any other movie I was going for at the time. I have been acting in movies since I was 6, and this was now seven years into my career. Auditions were at the Parker Maridian hotel in midtown Manhattan, and I didn't get nervous until I got there. I stepped off the elevator, and there tons of kids sitting around the floor. House maids had to step over them. Chris Columbus was there and directed me in the audition. I had no idea who he was and wondered why John Hughes wasn't there. I dismissed the audition afterwards and didn't think I got it. I was wrong.


What was it like behind the scenes of Home Alone? I’m picturing it being a lot like the first scene of the movie. Everyone running around, complete chaos.

It wasn't too chaotic actually. Chris kept a light but focused atmosphere on the set. It was odd shooting in the New Trier high school in Winnetka, Ill. That was where Breakfast Club was shot so I was always running off trying to explore the nooks of the school. They gave us razor scooters to get from hair and make up ( the principals office) to the set (the gymnasium). They shouldn't have done that. I'd be gone for an hour at a time.


Did any of you realize how iconic this film would become while in production? I’ve seen it all over social media recently. 22 years after it came out, and it’s still this huge! #HomeAlone was trending on twitter the other day.

We had no idea Home Alone would be so big. It was a nine million dollar Christmas comedy. We were all thrilled that it was a John Hughes movie, and I was excited to work with him, but I didn't think that there would be that much response to the film. It became the third highest grossing movie of all time, behind Star Wars and ET.


Rumor has it your “girlfriend” was actually a guy because director Christopher Columbus thought it would be too mean to make fun of a real girl. Being a 13 year old kid at the time, how did that make you feel? Has “Buzz, your girlfriend, woof!” affected relationships with significant others?

Yes, my girlfriend was a dude. I didn't know at the time, but I thought it was hilarious. He was the son of the art director, and apparently a good sport about it. I never met him, but I think we made a beautiful couple. And yes, I can only date models now to this day, because of that iconic line. It's too easy for my enemies to call that line out in crowded restaurants if I'm with anyone less then an '8'.


So do you keep in contact with any of your castmates or Chris Columbus? The dynamic between everyone was hilarious.
I kept in touch with Macauly for a while but I haven't spoken to the rest of te cast in quite a while. Chris was a great director and kept everyone in great spirits on the set. I would like to catch up with him.


Do you still get recognized as Buzz?

I get recognized all the time. It's truly beyond me. 22 years later, and people still come up to me at least 2ce a week. More if its around Christmas, because the movie is in every day in December.  It's odd. Then there are people who've known me for a while, who never knew I was buzz. Even a few who haven't seen the movie. There are even a few of my friends who don't care.


Where would Buzz McAllister be today? Any kids? Still a jerk?

In a high ranking position in homeland security.


Looking back, has this been a role you've embraced or shied away from. It’s really not a bad character to be typecast. Could be worse, you could be Fuller.

It was always a role I shied away from, the more attention I got for it. Yes, it was a great role in the movie, definitely memorable, and now in my old age I can look back and appreciate it more. But as I enter the twilight of my life, it is my desire not be best known for a part I was lucky enough to get when I was 13.


You’ve kept yourself pretty busy, what's next?

By 'keeping myself busy' you surely mean 'continuing to work in my chosen profession' and making a living from it, yes?
I have been very fortunate with my career, thus far. I have 4 movies coming out this year! CONSTRUCTION, an Independant film I'm starring in, Steven Sodeburgh's newest film THE BITTER PILL, as Jude Law's mental patient. And then Alex Payne's next film Nebraska. I play one of the villinous scheming twins trying to swindle Bruce Dern and son Will Forte out of a potential fortune. Then there is RIPD, which will be a huge blockbuster this summer. I play the head of a group of morally questionable undead who plan to stick around the world of the living, even after they should move on to the nether world. And I turn into an 8 foot thousand pound blue demon. Not bad.


Speaking of Kevin Bacon:
A. Did you know your Bacon Number is 2?

2. You’re movie RIPD is in post-production; starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Bacon.

D.  How cool is that?

My Bacon number is one now! I play opposite Bacon in RIPD, and he is officially the coolest actor I've worked with. He emanates it. For real. And he is completely approachable, which is cool, and he doesn't say anything if he hasn't something to say, which is cool, and he listens to you, which is cool, and he looks cool, which is cool. And he is great in this movie, which is cool. And he didn't burn the place down, which is pretty cool, Kev. To quote another great actor.


While we welcome you into our homes year after year, we look forward to this next chapter. Beat that ya little trout sniffer. Congrats! Be sure to check out Devin's upcoming feature films!


Thanks again Devin, and I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday! xoxo


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Twitter/Instagram: @LyndsayMeyer


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